People believe they have long since outgrown the illusions and superstitions of the past, yet in some respects they are entirely given up to illusion. There is a growing tendency to live in illusion concerning some important and essential aspects of the great scheme of things, and this to such an extent that these illusions become powers that rule the world, nations and, indeed, the whole earth. It is important to realize this, for illusory ideas are a major element in the chaos in which we find ourselves today; in fact, they make it a chaos.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness : Lecture 3: The Search for a Perfect World – Dornach, 1 October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Previously posted on August 18, 2015


Spiritual Science and Charlatanism

It is apparent that blind faith as well as the crassest superstition is quite widespread. Therefore there are hardly two matters more connected with one another than spiritual science and charlatanism. If one is unable to distinguish the one from the other, if one accepts an authority in blind faith, as is so often the case these days when the expertise of another is accepted forthright, then one actually promotes the kind of quackery that is so often associated with spiritual science. This is rightly criticised by people in search of genuine truth. It is understandable that someone who is not in the position to distinguish between the quack and the true spiritual authority objects that it is all charlatanism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 62 – Ergebnisse der Geistesforschung – Berlin, October 31, 1912 (p. 34)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 11, 2016

Astrology – The true science of these things has largely been lost (1 of 2)

Each of us is assigned a particular horoscope, in which the forces are revealed that have led us into this life. For example, if in a particular horoscope Mars is above Aries, this means that certain Aries forces cannot pass through Mars but are weakened instead.

Thus, human beings on their way into physical existence can get their bearings through their horoscope. Before ending this discussion — which, after all, seems a daring one in our time — we should note that most of what is presented today in this area is the purest dilettantism and pure superstition. As far as the world at large is concerned, the true science of these things has largely been lost. Therefore, the principles presented here should not be judged according to the claims of modern astrology, which is highly questionable.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 15 – The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity – Lecture Three – Copenhagen, June 8th 1911

Previously posted on February 3, 2014

Spiritual Science/Occultism/Superstition

There is a very prevalent opinion that what spiritual research says about the reality of higher worlds is merely the result of some form of ‘inspiration,’ so-called, or of subjective, intellectual deduction, or even of pure fantasy. Indeed it is not so. Clinical research, astronomical research, for example, demands specialised and difficult work. But what is acquired inwardly in the way described, learnt as it were from man’s own being by inner experimentation in order to unfold perception of higher worlds — this is an even more difficult task, demanding greater devotion, greater care, greater exactitude and methodical perseverance.

What is here described in all seriousness as Spiritual Science is fundamentally different from current forms of Occultism, Mysticism and the like. As science stands in contrast with superstition, so does anthroposophical Spiritual Science stand in contrast with current forms of Occultism which try to acquire knowledge through mediums or by compiling external, sensational data in amateurish fashion. This particular brand of modern superstition is vanquished by nothing more decisively than by genuine spiritual research, with its absolutely scrupulous and exact methods.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 79 – On the Reality of Higher Worlds – Christiania (Oslo), November 25, 1921

Translation by D. S. Osmond